A unique puzzle combining words, logic and opposites

Price: $1.99/£1.99
Version: 1.0.1
Size: 13.2 MB
Developer: BorderLeap
Platform: iPhone & iPad

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Antitype is latest word game from the makers of the excellent Alpha Omega, and it’s a minimalist treat based around a unique combination of ideas.

The game is all about word pairings

Each level, players are presented with a pair of jumbled, nonsensical words and a simple clue hinting at how the words are linked. The challenge is twofold: figure out what the words should be, and switch up the letters to decipher them. Tapping one letter changes those around it by moving them a space ahead in the alphabet. So an ‘C’ tile becomes a ‘D’, and so on. It’s a clever mechanic, reminiscent of those old “Lights Out” logic toys from the 90s.

Tap the letters to switch them up until two matching words appear…

Words always come in opposing pairs that relate somehow to the clue word. So early on, “temperature” hints at a solution involving “HOT” and “COLD” while later puzzles require a little extra thought: “what you” hints at “REAP” and “SOW,” for example. Without spoiling any more of the 325 levels, the clues get tougher as the words get longer and eventually you’ll be contending with some real head-scratchers.

Aha! There’s the solution

One thing we particularly liked is that the jumbled letters are never more than two moves away from being correct, and often your brain can fill in the blanks and see what’s not there using some kind of subconscious understanding of the alphabet. It’s easy to reset if you mess up, but – in a stroke of genius – the exact placement of the letters is randomized each time, meaning the solution changes each time you try again. This means you can’t cheat your way through levels by trial-and-error.

Each level provides a hint in the form of a word or phrase

We have but two real complaints about Antitype. Firstly, there are a lot of levels here and it takes quite a long time before they get especially challenging. Though it’s fun working through the early stages, after a while the super short word pairs become a little tiresome. We would appreciate the ability to skip ahead to the tougher stuff rather than being forced to work linearly through the levels – as it stands there’s not even a level select menu.

Secondly, the game is frustratingly locked to a landscape orientation – no good for one-handed play or quick sessions while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. For an uncomplicated game that isn’t particularly dependent on layout, we really craved a portrait mode. The words would have to be shrunk somewhat to fit, but to our mind that would be a minor price to pay for the flexibility it would afford.

It’s only really suitable for two-handed play

Ultimately this is a simple joy of a game, one that word game fans could easily sink a couple of solid hours into. More likely it will be a game you come back to in bursts, as you puzzle over the tougher sections later in the game. It doesn’t have enough depth to hold your attention for hours on end, but for a couple of bucks, we think it’s a worthy purchase for anyone who likes wordy logic puzzles.

Review: AntiType – opposites attract in this word puzzler
Unique minimal word puzzles
For
  • Clever combo of word/logic puzzles
  • Very satisfying to play
  • Slick minimal design
Against
  • No level select or skip
  • No portrait mode
4.0Overall Score